Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Friday, January 8


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Friday, January 8

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Friday’s meetings at Lingfield, Southwell and Newcastle.

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Friday’s meetings

LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

11.50 City Derby

12.20 Master Burbidge

12.50 The Kicking Queen

1.20 Percy Prosecco

1.50 Glory And Honour

2.20 Hasanabad

2.50 Mengli Khan

3.20 El Kaldoun

GIMCRACK 

11.50 Titaneasy

12.20 Master Burbidge

12.50 Mondora

1.20 Percy Prosecco

1.50 No No Maestro

2.20 Whitlock (nb)

2.50 Reve

3.20 Barbados Blue

SOUTHWELL 

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

4.15 Blue Hero

4.45 Greek Kodiac

5.15 Samovar (nap)

5.45 Artistic Streak

6.15 Ghost Rider

6.45 Heron (nb)

7.15 Gaelic Secret

GIMCRACK 

4.15 Blue Hero

4.45 Greek Kodiac (nap)

5.15 Oakenshield

5.45 Cheap Jack

6.15 Kevin The Minion

6.45 Para Queen

7.15 The Gloaming

NEWMARKET – 4.15 Smart Qibili (nap); 6.15 Time Frame (nb).

NEWCASTLE

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.10 Becky The Boo

12.40 Jomont

1.10 Schalke

1.40 Moon King

2.10 Snookered

2.40 Sao

3.10 Brotherly Company

3.40 Bushypark

GIMCRACK 

12.10 Big Ears

12.40 Nans Gift

1.10 Geromino

1.40 Rayna’s World

2.10 Monsieur Co

2.40 Onthefrontfoot

3.10 Wye Aye

3.40 Bushypark

NORTHERNER 12.40 Jomont (nap) ; 2.40 Onthefrontfoot (nb).



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BHA may use rapid virus tests at racecourses if the Covid-19 situation continues to worsen


BHA may use rapid virus tests at racecourses if the Covid-19 situation continues to worsen

  • Racing continue behind closed doors with government-agreed protocols
  • Current system based on temperature checks and health questionnaires
  • The BHA may use lateral flow testing which gives results in about 30 minutes

The BHA have acknowledged that lateral flow testing may have to be introduced at racecourses if the Covid-19 situation continues to worsen.

Government-agreed protocols have allowed racing to continue behind closed doors based on temperature checks and health questionnaires. 

But with other sports experiencing increasing disruption, the BHA may use lateral flow testing which gives results in about 30 minutes.

Government-agreed protocols have allowed racing to continue behind closed doors

A BHA spokesman said: ‘We are constantly monitoring the situation and liaising with the industry and training hubs.

‘We take an agile approach and our protocols are reviewed on a regular basis to determine how racing can continue to strengthen our approach and best safeguard our people.

‘Should evidence show it is necessary then testing could be an option that may be helpful if the situation continues to worsen.’



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Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Thursday, January 7


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Thursday, January 7

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Thursday’s meetings at Wolverhampton, Southwell and Ffos Las.

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Thursday’s meetings

FFOS LAS

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.58 Windswept Girl

1.28 Ben Brody

1.58 Mere Anarchy

2.28 Lieutenant Rocco

2.58 Memphis Bell

3.28 Sandford Castle

3.58 Onethreefivenotout

GIMCRACK 

12.58 Saddlers Quest

1.28 Astra Via

1.58 Mere Anarchy (nb)

2.28 Muckamore

2.58 Memphis Bell

3.28 The Dawn Man

3.58 Super Six

SOUTHWELL 

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.45 Lord Of The Alps

1.15 Thegreatestshowman (nap)

1.45 Pivotal Decision

2.15 Perfect Swiss

2.45 Samovar (nb)

3.15 Momtalik

3.45 Red Stripes

GIMCRACK 

12.45 Contingency Fee

1.15 Thegreatestshowman

1.45 Olivers Pursuit

2.15 Perfect Swiss

2.45 Samovar

3.15 Momtalik

3.45 Gossip

NEWMARKET – 12.45 Lord Of The Alps (nb)

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

4.20 Space Kid

4.55 Liverpool Knight

5.30 Castlebar

6.00 Ten Chants

6.30 Firsteen

7.00 Tin Hat

7.30 Thai Terrier

GIMCRACK 

4.20 Spirit Of Rowdown

4.55 The Thunderer

5.30 Book of Secrets

6.00 Emerald Fox

6.30 Firsteen

7.00 Tin Hat (nap)

7.30 Thai Terrier

NORTHERNER – 7.30 Thai Terrier (nap)

NEWMARKET 4.55 Alto Volante (nb); 5.30 Castlebar (nap).



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King George and Cheltenham Festival winner Might Bite retired by Henderson


‘It was an amazing journey but not one without a few hiccups’: King George and Cheltenham Festival winner Might Bite retired by Nicky Henderson

  • The 12-year-old was the winner of ten races, four of them at the top level 
  • Might Bite memorably pipped stable-mate Whisper to win the RSA Chase
  • He held on in an exciting finish to win the King George VI Chase in 2017

Might Bite, the 2017 King George VI Chase winner, has been retired by trainer Nicky Henderson.

The 12-year-old subsequently finished second to Native River in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup in a thrilling contest before winning the Grade One Betway Bowl at Aintree by seven lengths from Bristol De Mai.

But he never reached those heights again. Might Bite was beaten in his last nine starts, including a shot at the Cross Country Chase at last season’s Festival and being pulled up on his last run in the Grand Sefton Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree last month.

Trainer Nicky Henderson has announced the retirement of 12-year-old Might Bite

Most memorably, Might Bite won the RSA Chase at the 2017 Festival, rallying to pip stable-mate Whisper despite throwing away a 10-length lead at the last fence and veering violently right-handed.

Henderson said: ‘It was an amazing journey but not one without a few hiccups along the way.’

  • Goldikova, one of the best mares ever to race, has died at the age of 16. Trained by Freddie Head in France, Goldikova won the Breeders’ Cup Mile three times (2008-10).
  • Jockey Robbie Power, who has been based in Britain this season, announced on Twitter last night: ‘Due to the increased number of Covid-19 cases in Ireland and the UK and the uncertainty over travel restrictions I have decided to stay in Ireland with my family until restrictions ease.’
  • Thursday’s meeting at Musselburgh has been abandoned because of a frozen track and there is an 8.30am inspection at Ffos Las.



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Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Wednesday, January 6


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Wednesday, January 6

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Wednesday’s meetings at Wolverhampton and Kempton. 

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Wednesday’s meetings

KEMPTON

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

3.40 Trepidation

4.10 Fuwairt

4.40 Impeach (nap)

5.10 Banoffee

5.45 Tampere

6.15 True Destiny

6.45 Streamline

7.15 Equitation

GIMCRACK 

3.40 Trepidation

4.10 Henley Park

4.40 Acquisitor

5.10 Iesha

5.45 Tex Australia

6.15 Amtiyaz (nap)

6.45 Tranchee (nb)

7.15 Bowling Russian

NEWMARKET – 5.45 Tampere (nb); 7.15 Global Warning (nap).

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.45 Super Julius

1.15 Batraan

1.50 Egotistic

2.20 Qaaraat

2.55 Toronado Queen (nb)

3.25 Elhafei

3.55 Greengage

GIMCRACK 

12.45 Jumira Bridge

1.15 Batraan

1.50 Deconso

2.20 Gigi’s Beach

2.55 Toronado Queen

3.25 Born To Sire

3.55 Thematic

NORTHERNER – 2.20 Qaaraat (nb); 2.55 Toronado Queen (nap). 



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Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Tuesday, January 5


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Tuesday, January 5

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Tuesday’s meetings at Wolverhampton and Lingfield. 

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Tuesday’s meetings

LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.40 Durabella

1.10 La Tihaty

1.40 Swiss Pride

2.10 Jennivere (nb)

2.40 Ballydoyle

3.10 Passional

3.40 Murat Asset

GIMCRACK 

12.40 Maxine

1.10 Melody Of Life

1.40 Our Oystercatcher

2.10 Little Sunflower (nap)

2.40 Ballydoyle

3.10 Eastern Star

3.40 Corofin

NEWMARKET – 3.10 Passional (nap)

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

4.10 Miaella

4.40 Gavi Di Gavi

5.10 One One Seven

5.40 Canimar

6.10 Blue Moonrise

6.40 Eldelbar (nap)

7.10 Secret Treaties

7.40 By Jove

8.10 Pocketeer

GIMCRACK 

4.10 Ballyare

4.40 Gavi Di Gavi

5.10 My Sister Jo

5.40 Canimar

6.10 Blue Moonrise (nb)

6.40 Eldelbar

7.10 Fard

7.40 Bay Of Naples

8.10 Complexo

NORTHERNER – 6.40 Choosey (nb); 7.40 Bay Of Naples (nap).

NEWMARKET – 4.10 Shamshon (nb).



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Cheltenham organisers prepared for event to be held with ‘small numbers of people present’


Cheltenham Festival organisers prepared for this year’s event to be held with only ‘small numbers of people present’ due to coronavirus restrictions a year after huge crowds sparked controversy

  • No spectators are currently allowed at British racecourses
  • Normally around 250,000 spectators attend the four days of the Festival
  • It was last major sporting event before the country went into lockdown 

Cheltenham are resigned to the fact this year’s Festival will be held with only around 2,000 people present each day — at best.

Now the country has been placed back into full lockdown, the track must make some key decisions over the next couple of weeks about the meeting, which starts on March 16.

Normally, the biggest jumps meeting of the year welcomes 250,000 spectators through the gates over the four days, 70,000 of them on the final day to watch the Gold Cup. Those scenes were condemned by some last March when the Festival was the last major sporting event before the Covid-19 crisis plunged the country into lockdown.

Normally around 250,000 spectators attend the four days of the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham’s meeting last month had a crowd of 2,000 a day made up of owners, annual members and paying spectators.

Officials must also work out how to sustain the traditional challenge of Irish runners, with travel restrictions and isolation protocols still likely to be in place.

Ian Renton, the Jockey Club’s regional managing director, said: ‘We’ve accepted that it is going to be a different Festival this year. We have to be realistic that it is likely only small numbers of people will be present.

‘Let’s see where we are by March. We are focused on setting the stage for four world-class days, which are vital to many livelihoods in the British racing industry and will be enjoyed by millions on television.’

Jockey Club Racecourses, who own Cheltenham, have insurance which covers the majority of lost revenue, but not all of it.

The event last March was the last major sporting event before the country went into lockdown

The event last March was the last major sporting event before the country went into lockdown

With Festival revenues usually helping to support activity in the wider JCR group, the organisation still face a significant hit.

The Cheltenham Festival also usually gives the local economy a £100million boost.

Meanwhile, Kim Bailey-trained Imperial Aura, 7-1 second favourite for the Ryanair Chase, is one of the headline runners this weekend in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton. The winner of the Novices’ Handicap Chase on the opening day of last season’s Cheltenham Festival was the five-length winner of Ascot’s 1965 Chase on his latest start.

Elsewhere David Thompson, joint-owner of Cheveley Park Stud, has died aged 84.

He and wife Patricia bought Newmarket’s oldest stud farm in 1975.

Big-race winners on the Flat in their red, white and blue colours have included Pivotal, Medicean and Russian Rhythm. Their current jumps string is headed by unbeaten dual Cheltenham Festival winner Envoi Allen.



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Skelton reaps reward of focus on quality after five winners at Kempton’s Christmas meeting


Trainer Dan Skelton reaps reward of focus on quality after securing five winners at Kempton’s prestigious Christmas meeting

  • Nube Negra inflicted an emphatic defeat on Altior in the Desert Orchid Chase
  • Shan Blue extended his unbeaten sequence over fences with a decisive victory 
  • Skelton now a place behind Nicholls in the Jump Trainers’ championship race

Validation is the word Dan Skelton says best sums up the feeling he felt after training five winners at Kempton’s prestigious two-day Christmas meeting.

The successes of Nube Negra, who beat Altior in the Desert Orchid Chase, and Shan Blue in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase in particular underlined that Skelton’s re-focus on quality at his Warwickshire stable is bearing fruit.

Only former boss Paul Nicholls stands above Skelton in the Jump Trainers’ championship race and with a clutch of leading ante-post fancies for the Cheltenham Festival, Skelton heads into 2021 flush with optimism.

Dan Skelton (left) with Nube Negra after the win in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton

The trainer said: ‘When you do what we did at Kempton you mainly feel happy that you haven’t let the horses down because we knew what they were capable of. It’s more that than patting yourself on the back. We have really concentrated on quality and the best thing was the validation that we were right. We knew they were good horses.

‘It is hard to get the team to that level and over the two days we had a live contender in virtually every race.’

The Skelton operation is a family affair. Younger brother Harry does the riding and father Nick, the Olympic Gold medal-winning show-jumper, now coaches promising show-jumping riders from his home 300 yards from Dan’s stable.

By his sixth season training in 2018-19, Dan had joined 15-time champion Martin Pipe as the only jump trainer to top 200 wins in a season. But ambitions have changed.

Shan Blue extended his unbeaten sequence over fences with a decisive victory at Kempton

Shan Blue extended his unbeaten sequence over fences with a decisive victory at Kempton

Dan said: ‘We set out this season with a totally different ambition to the one we set out last season with. I felt now was the time to concentrate on quality.

‘When I looked through the list of horses in the summer — when they were starting to come back in — I thought these are a fancy bunch. If we get it right these could be the one to take us to another level.

‘Winning Grade Ones is vitally important. It’s where the owners want to be. It is exhilarating and fun. It’s top-end sport.’

The re-focus also required a slightly different approach.

Skelton added: ‘Before, the wheel kept turning. We might have two winners today at Uttoxeter and tomorrow be off to Fontwell and we need three. That grinds on everybody.

‘It’s not that we have less horses but more modest horses might be running eight or 10 times a season because they are bobbing up and down the handicap. With horses like Shan Blue, you might only get five or six.

‘The team are always a happy bunch but they now have slightly more time to spend with their horses and appreciate them. My jockey is also not going to ride six every day and you hope he might last a bit longer as well.

‘I am not saying I am a better trainer now than I was two or three years ago but I think we are better as a team, have more experience and can recognise the horses which are in front of us.’

The victory of Nube Negra was particularly pleasing for Skelton, having recruited the gelding from Spain where he had been running at La Zarzuela racecourse on the outskirts of Madrid.

The seven-year-old gelding, third in the Boodles Fred Winter Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, heads straight to that meeting for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March.

Skelton, who could run hugely promising Protektorat in the rescheduled Dipper Novices’ Chase at Wincanton on Saturday, said: ‘I never expected him to beat Altior. It is a big deal but Nube Negra won with authority.

‘We got him from Spain and nobody had heard of him or even the racecourses he had run at. We have brought him a long way and I think he is a contender now.’



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Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Monday, January 4


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Monday, January 4

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Monday’s meetings at Fakenham, Wolverhampton and Lingfield. 

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Monday’s meetings

FAKENHAM

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.25 Ripper Roo

12.55 Fresh New Dawn

1.25 Not A Role Model

1.55 Episode

2.25 Manjaam

2.55 Love The Leader

3.25 Harde Fashion

GIMCRACK 

12.25 Ripper Roo

12.55 Fresh New Dawn

1.25 Not A Role Model

1.55 Episode

2.25 Cristal Spirit

2.55 Chimes Of Dylan

3.25 Harde Fashion

LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.10 Global Style

12.40 Mutahamisa

1.10 Recon Mission

1.40 Gold Standard

2.10 Tamborrada

2.40 Arabescato

3.10 Cafe Sydney

3.40 Caribeno

GIMCRACK 

12.10 Noble Queen

12.40 Mutahamisa

1.10 Lihou (nb)

1.40 Dynali

2.10 Too Friendly

2.40 Arabescato

3.10 Cafe Sydney

3.40 Catbird Seat

NEWMARKET – 12.40 Mutahamisa (nap); 2.10 Defined (nb).

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

3.50 Dubai paradise

4.20 Blackcurrent

4.50 Inevitable Outcome (nb)

5.20 Lleyton (nap)

5.50 Richard R H B

6.20 Shimmering Dawn

6.50 Petalite

7.20 Inaam

7.50 Trevie Fountain

GIMCRACK 

3.50 Dubai Paradise

4.20 First Excel

4.50 Inevitable Outcome

5.20 Lleyton

5.50 Richard R H B

6.20 Shimmering Dawn (nap)

6.50 Big Kitty

7.20 Critical Thinking

7.50 Barrington

NORTHERNER – 5.20 Lleyton (nap); 5.50 Athmad (nb)



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Trainer Zoe Davison dies from cancer on the same day two of her horses claim wins at Plumpton 


Trainer Zoe Davison dies from cancer on the same day two of her horses claim wins at Plumpton 

  • The 60-year-old had been battling breast cancer for four-and-a-half years 
  • She started training in 1997 and enjoyed her best season with 15 wins in 2017-18 
  • Her stable landed a Plumpton double with Brown Bullet and Mr Jack on Sunday 

There were poignant scenes at Plumpton as the death of trainer Zoe Davison was announced on the day her stable landed a double with Brown Bullet and Mr Jack.

Davison, who had been battling breast cancer for four-and-a-half years, started training in 1997-98 and enjoyed her best season with 15 wins in the 2017-18 campaign. Based at East Grinstead in Sussex, she was 60.

Gemelle Johnson, former jockey and then assistant to her mother, said: ‘I just feel a bit numb inside because of everything.

Zoe Davison started training in 1997 and enjoyed her best season with 15 wins in 2017-18

‘I’m a bit overwhelmed we’ve had a double for Mum. Hopefully we have made her proud. It’s surreal.

‘Our team is a family business and we put everything into it. She will be thoroughly missed as she is the glue that holds us together.’

Jockey James Best, who rode Brown Bullet in the 2m novice hurdle, told Sky Sports Racing: ‘What a lovely family they are. I’ve had an awful lot of rides for them over the past 18 months to two years but that was actually my first winner for Zoe.’



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